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Comment: Hiring people with a clue is harder than it looks (Score 1) 106

by Kjella (#48442097) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Practices For Starting and Running a Software Shop?

At a consulting company I used to work at we defined our "core processes" and in a bizarre act of simple self insight - probably because it wasn't billable - they found we had two:

1. Sell
2. Deliver

You're the system architect, are you the one doing the selling? Because I can't stress this enough, if you're not making sales you're going out of business fast. Even if you don't need a traditional salesman somebody has to promote the product in all sorts of media and get the word out to all your potential customers. The other part is having at least one guy who really groks code, since you're not it. You're going to produce a version 1.0 and it's going to have rough edges and it's going to have bugs. You won't have the to do all the things you'd like to do because you need to ship and make money, so stay on top of your early clients and make sure what bothers them is a top priority.

Is it a database-driven UI application? If so make sure you got database design experience as horrible table design and data inconsistencies will come back to haunt you, user interface designer who can also double as technical writer so your users actually understand to use it - this is also far harder than you think - in addition to the generic data processing skills. And really if that's three people, one salesman and if you haven't even started yet I wouldn't plan past that at the moment. If you're still alive and making money and looking to expand then you can start considering the rest. You'll quickly enough see where you need more people because you're out of resources, don't forget that the primary concern is running a business and secondary keeping your employees happy, if you fail at the first you fail.

Comment: Re:yes (Score 1) 219

by Kjella (#48441909) Attached to: Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

Not just that, we use a very limited part of our vision. The actual reading we do with the super-sharp fovea (3 degrees wide) while keeping track of line to line using the semi-sharp macula (18 degrees wide). The remaining 160 degrees of horizontal vision and 120 degrees of vertical vision aren't really effective to use. What you want for immersion like games or video is totally different from the optimal width for a newspaper column. In fact, an A4 page full of typically sized text is probably too wide and an artifact of punch cards and typewriters, research suggests ~60 characters per line rather than 80 as optimal. And we got 600 years of research on this.

Comment: Re:Why bother? (Score 1) 48

by Kjella (#48439773) Attached to: Another Hint For Kryptos

If you can do that, then you know how complex you can make your cypher for a competition page, and how simple you can afford it when building a TrueCrypt replacement.

Come on, there's an arbitrary number of formulas that could be used to encode the next bit. If you look at a sequence 1 3 5 7 and ask what's the next number most people would answer 9. Then the answer is "11, because it's the odd numbers excluding squares like 3*3 = 9" and people would go "How the f*ck should I know that?" and there's no analytic function that says how "weird" your formula is. You're just making a guess of how long it'd take before someone tries a formula like this, it could be in five minutes or fifty years.

Also, a cypher would be all but useless for building a TrueCrypt replacement because the secret is in the algorithm, not the key. Everyone with the software would have the cypher, it only works if that's a shared secret between you and the one you want to communicate with. Modern cryptographic software is built on the assumption that the algorithm is so strong that it doesn't matter unless the attacker has the key. Why create anything less, unless you plan to do it by hand?

Comment: Re:Wait, 314 million per year? (Score 2) 142

by Kjella (#48439661) Attached to: Mozilla's 2013 Report: Revenue Up 1% To $314M; 90% From Google

Translation: Our core business (browsers) is so ridiculously profitable and since our mission is open ended we can spend it on almost any pet project we like. Sounds like a good opportunity for a smaller and more focused group to create a better fork and run off with the market, but what do I know. It seems Firefox was initially a two-three man project (depending on which page I look at) that rebelled against the Mozilla suite, with ~17% market share (according to StatCounter) being worth $300 million then 0.17% should be worth $3 million. That sounds like solid money for a reachable goal, if you got enhancements that would make 1% of the user base switch.

Comment: Re:...or maybe (Score 1) 50

by gl4ss (#48439625) Attached to: Indian Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Snub Android One Phones

exactly. how cheap is it anyways? it needs to be under 80 bucks to be cheap enough to be a cheap android handset. nokia x is 80 bucks. 20 bucks more is not cheap(nokia x xl was 100 bucks on launch, like 8 months ago). from what I could find android one launch price was 100 bucks, though it has quad core. but the fuck the target audience cares about that? nothing. two things matter: how nice it feels in the hand and how good the screen looks - ram and other numbers not so much. the third thing that matters is brand and that matters a whole lot.

and noname chinese is around in the same range - and be good, since some of the cheapos in the same price range really don't feel like cheapos.

nokia x line is going to die though, thanks to microsoft, not because the sales are bad(because the sales for it are good, too good in fact). but the other nokia can start making them again in few years... I got one and it does everything a smartphone needs to do.. the camera isn't very good by nokia standards(my previous one was a 808) but that's about it, with play apps installed it's like any other android except cheapo cheap and feels solidly built - and it comes with all the apps asians expect pre installed, that includes line etc.

and yes I got sort of a habit of buying dying phone os brands knowingly.

Comment: Re:Helium shortage (Score 1) 103

you would think helium to be a tad more expensive then if it is in fact as you in shortage right now.

though, what do they fill these with? surely just not air, the blurb is all kinds of stupid. I think the engineering problem with filling it is more akin to cutting the feed at the right point more than anything to not rupture the vessel that is being filled. just filling a thing with air in 5 minutes on it's own isn't that impressive, since you can fill emergency exit slides etc far, far faster than that.

more than that, it's more of a problem of moving the thing to the different deployment points than anything else- unless they aim to launch the balloons at the same place. always thought that the fucking filling of the balloons to be the easiest part and the networking behind it, powering the node while it is in the air etc to be the hard part- that, and well, the general longevity of such a system, like, will this deploy before mobile networks to such far reaches? you can make pretty big cells with 450 and 900mhz.

Comment: Re:Guffaw! So much overhaul it's FOUR better! (Score 1) 165

by Kjella (#48436181) Attached to: Windows Kernel Version Bumped To 10.0

Some developers, on the other hand, would probably be quite annoyed if there's a version 7 kernel which doesn't match with Windows 7, a version 8 kernel which has nothing to do with Windows 8, and a version 9 kernel which seems awfully close to Windows 95/98.From that point of view, Microsoft should really have started this with Windows 7 - but Windows 10 is the next major opportunity to so after having to skip Windows 9 anyway.

Probably this, but who says they'll keep bumping it? Maybe they really wanted to do 7 now and 10 was the first non-confusing number. Maybe Windows 11 => 10.1, Windows 12 = 10.2, Windows 13 = 10.3, Windows 14 = 14. Like so many point out, it's not really a number anyway and you don't do arithmetic with it. 10 > 6 the same way 7 > 6, either way it's a major version bump. I doubt anyone in marketing even knows what kernel version they're running and if they did they wouldn't care.

Comment: Requirements, specifications and solutions (Score 1) 178

by Kjella (#48435029) Attached to: It's Not Developers Slowing Things Down, It's the Process

The article encourages managers to let devs contribute to the process and say "No" if the specs are too vague.

Well, I hate getting into a process too early and I hate getting into a process too late. Too early and they still haven't agreed on what it is they want, why they want it and you end up wasting time listening to a whole lot of arguing and proposals back and forth that have nothing to do with the technical feasibility of any solution. It's like having the chef waiting while the guests are debating fish vs steak vs chicken, they're all good dishes so pick the one you want. It's another thing if they're looking for help at finding a best practice, but in my experience they don't look to IT for that.

Come in too late and the requirements are woefully inadequate while the solution is half-designed with no regards to sanity. Like a proposal I recently reviewed, it had very little in terms of objetives and results but an almost complete IT solution that'd be a technical, administrative and logistical nightmare. Written by somebody knows the subject matter very well but has never managed more than his own laptop, my Dunning-Kruger meter went all the way to 11. And he wins most arguments by exhaustion, he makes these long deliberations in a slow, monotone voice that drives me nuts.

Comment: Re:CPM rates, etc (Score 1) 275

by Kjella (#48434633) Attached to: Google Launches Service To Replace Web Ads With Subscriptions

Well, more than half the trouble with micro-payments is getting you to sign up for an account and tie it to a credit card. Once they have that, they can up-sell you more. And I'm betting Google is giving them a sweet deal because once you need to be signed in to Google to avoid the ads when visiting your favorite sites you'll in practice be signed in 24x7. And if they didn't have a good profile on you before, they sure will now.

Comment: Re:We'll build our own station (Score 2) 225

by gl4ss (#48432361) Attached to: Russia May Be Planning National Space Station To Replace ISS

well they got russian hookers already everywhere else than on the space station so maybe that's it.

it's a joke though. they can't afford it, it gives them no meaningful bonus of any kind - science or military wise. ruble is already in the gutter and they would rather use the money and resources for jets and missiles. but talk is cheap.

or maybe they'll just photoshop it. the pro russia regime russian media has started being so sloppy lately that you have to even start wondering if being so sloppy in the pro putin regime news is some kind of deliberate quiet resistance("so you want me to create a fake news story about some american jet allegedly to be blamed for downing the passenger jet? fine, but I'll do a shitty job at it")

Comment: Re:Owning stock (Score 1) 199

by gl4ss (#48432033) Attached to: Harvard Students Move Fossil Fuel Stock Fight To Court

liquidating the company by selling off it's assets and giving the money to stock holders is always an option so kind of yes.

I think they're not really much looking beyond of that and if they're investing in oil specifically through some investment mechanism or another, there's really no vote except that they believe oil to be more expensive later on(or cheaper, depending on what they were betting on, red or black).

and uh exxon or whatever only needs 1 owner for it to be worth billions in money to anyone doing any sensible maths about the value. however, if they want to invest in biofuels but not in a _fuel_company then they're kind of fucked.

the courts shouldn't be deciding this one though. shame on the students for trying. if they want to affect where the money goes then they need to get someone on the board which decides where the investments go.

and if they want to dump the money on solar roadways or some shit like that, ban them from the school campus for trying to kill the charitable fund(and fail them for maths and engineering).

Comment: Re:Bullshit Stats. (Score 2) 479

by Kjella (#48428015) Attached to: As Amazon Grows In Seattle, Pay Equity For Women Declines

True, but how often do you hear people here complain about CEOs making millions? Either it's related to effort "He's golfing with vendors and reading trade magazines while I work my butt off 60+ hours a week" or results "I've created millions in revenue for them and after 20 years they lay me off and outsource my job to India." Does anybody tell you to STFU, take an MBA and become a CEO yourself? No. But if a nurse complains about long shifts and crappy pay for saving lives then it's easy to pull the same card and say if you wanted to become an engineer, well you could have picked a different career. If you want to argue that the free market hasn't provided you with a pay equal to what you're worth that's fine, just don't be a hypocrite when others do it too.

Your pay is basically as much as necessary and as little as they can get away with, if the job is important or not doesn't really matter only the price of your replacement. That's why they made minimum wage laws, otherwise they'd have people underbidding each other until they were all working for pennies. It's nice when you're on the upside having a rare skill that's unexpectedly in demand and can command a fat pay check, but if you think your real worth to society is so high because you can make big money throwing a football in NFL or writing HFT routines for Wall Street you're wrong.

How does sex tie in to this? Well, according to feminists the reason "female" professions is paid so low is because the jobs are being systematically undervalued compared to equivalent work dominated by men because the executives - that are mostly men - can get away with it. Kind of like the two wolves and a sheep story, except the wolves are just deciding sheep work is worth less, if you want wolf pay you must do wolf work. Note that in many of the "female" professions like grade school teachers or nurses there's no direct economic output. What second grade math is worth is largely what society's perception of the value is. It's a lot easier to say that without this developer we can't deliver this product that'll create this much revenue.

I'm not saying that there actually is a problem, but it's not an open and shut case. Since it's inherently comparing apples and oranges I guess there'll never be absolute truth. I think it happens with minorities though, for example in cleaning services because the language requirements are practically none. If companies more-or-less collude to depress prices, they can squeeze out the natives which get better paying jobs elsewhere while the immigrants have very little choice but to keep working. Is creating such an ethnicly-dominated, extremely low paid underclass racism? Or reflection of their lack of work skills? I'm inclined to go with pure captialism, if women can't/won't leave "their" occupations that will be exploited to pay them less.

Comment: Re:No distributed storage? (Score 2) 59

by Kjella (#48424689) Attached to: BitTorrent Unveils Sync 2.0

So there's no torrent then providing a pseudo cloud across many users' devices which would maintain the file? It's not like Freenet or other distributed storage p2p solutions? Ie it's not like bittorrent at all?

No, they're just pointing out that if you want to use it as a "private cloud" to sync your own files between your own devices you need a seed. Let's for example say you have a cell phone, a tablet and a laptop and they're on and off at different times then BT Sync only works when several of them are online and depending on setup, I wouldn't want my cell phone to try pulling down everything on my laptop. Not like iCloud or whatever where your cell phone can upload photos to "the cloud" while your tablet and laptop is off.

You don't have to know how the computer works, just how to work the computer.